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11-14-2010, 09:39 AM   #1
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6x7 for Street Photography - am I the only one here?

On the internet, I found the blog of Gordon Lewis: Shutterfinger: Candid Photography
He writes a little about the Pentax 6x7 as a camera for street photography. I like
this camera for street shots, and I wonder whether I'm the only one here, or if
there are others with this passion??

Here is the quote from Lewis' blog:
QuoteQuote:
At the opposite extreme in size though similar in simplicity was the Pentax 67 I
owned when I was in my late-twenties. The Pentax 67 took 120 rollfim, produced
a 6x7cm image and looked like a 35mm SLR on steroids. Because the reflex mirror
and shutter were so large, the noise and vibration were alarming, to say the l
least. Most Pentax 67 afficionados mounted it to a heavy tripod and used mirror
lock-up to ensure vibration-free photos. That's certainly what I did when I used it
for interior photography. I skipped the mirror lock-up for portraiture.

Common sense would dictate that the Pentax 67 would be one of the worst
possible choices for street photography--and yet it was one of the best street
cameras I ever owned. Was it small? No. Was it quiet? Hardly. I therefore had to
abandon all pretense of being discrete. Instead, I had to get comfortable with
walking around in public places with a huge conversation-starter. People took it
for granted that I was "serious" and that if I pointed it in their direction it was for
good reason. Most were flattered. Attractive women asked for my card. Men
looked with envy at the size of my lenses. The lesson-learned was that it was up
to me to decide what camera was most appropriate for my needs, not tradition,
popular opinion or accepted wisdom.


11-14-2010, 12:08 PM   #2
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One of my contacts on Flickr is Janne Moren, he is used to shoot street photography with his Pentax 67. He has some B&W good stuff.

See his blog entry about the Pentax 67:
Janne In Osaka: Pentax 67
11-14-2010, 12:15 PM   #3
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Köszönöm szépen! Good reading!!
11-14-2010, 12:38 PM   #4
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I find it funny everyone says you need a big, heavy tripod. You really don't for focal lengths below 165mm, use a WLF and don't raise the tripod to eye-level. I shoot with a compact tripod all the time with my 67. Also, vibration is mostly in slower speed below 1/60. Handheld, you'd be most likely be shooting faster. On a tripod at slower speeds, just put your hand on top of the camera and press down a little when taking the shot and use MLU.

11-14-2010, 12:57 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I find it funny everyone says you need a big, heavy tripod. You really don't for focal lengths below 165mm, use a WLF and don't raise the tripod to eye-level. I shoot with a compact tripod all the time with my 67. Also, vibration is mostly in slower speed below 1/60. Handheld, you'd be most likely be shooting faster. On a tripod at slower speeds, just put your hand on top of the camera and press down a little when taking the shot and use MLU.
I always (...) shoot without tripod, making use of the technique you describe! Hang it around your neck, push it down while looking through the WLF and it's stable. Even don't use the MLU, and I think my shots are reasonably sharp....most of the time.....I think....

One example shot like this, and it's cropped for about 50%....(more in this topic)

11-14-2010, 01:10 PM   #6
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Nice capture. Good tones. What are you metering with?
11-14-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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With my head and the Sunny16-rule.....

EDIT: oh, and thanks for the compliment...!
11-14-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
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Very good. When I have my spot meter with me and taking shots like that in a hurry, I just take one quick reading. I aim it at the person skin and place it one stop above middle gray and let the rest fall where they will. For people, that would be the most import thing for me.


Last edited by tuco; 11-14-2010 at 01:28 PM.
11-14-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
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Never used a separate spot meter, have to learn it! You have the Pentax Spotmeter V, don't you? Is it easy to use?
11-14-2010, 01:42 PM   #10
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Yes. And I have a digital one-degree Minolta Spotmeter F too and I never use it. If find digital ones actually slower and more of a mental exercise to use. The analog has that dial and you can see the whole scene and your choices right in front of you without pushing a lot of buttons and marking points. The Spotmeter V is a big meter though. It would be nice if it was smaller. But I made a waist belt with a pockets to carry it when its not stowed away making it quick, convenient and readily accessible for use.
11-14-2010, 01:49 PM   #11
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I will look for one.....
These are legacy tools, are there things to be aware of? What can go wrong with them over time? No selenium cells that can die or other things I must know?
11-14-2010, 02:10 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I've had my Spotmeter V for 20 years and it is still going strong. Only a few years ago did I finally put in new batteries and that was because I thought better safe than sorry even though the battery check showed it still good.

I don't know what would be the failure points on them. Some people have sent that meter out to be re-calibrated so it's not "colored blind" for zone system work, I hear.
11-14-2010, 02:31 PM   #13
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Thanks Tuco! Placed a bid....
11-14-2010, 03:37 PM   #14
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Wow, that was a quick decision. One thing to keep in mind. The meter is telling you middle gray for that area only. So aimed at a white wall, for instance, you'd need to decide how white you want it. Two or three stops above middle gray? Say 3 stops (aka zone VIII) and then you'd turn meter's dial down 3EV from the wall's EV and that would be the reading for your selected ASA. And the dial will show all the f-stop/shutter speeds combinations at a glance.

Last edited by tuco; 11-14-2010 at 03:43 PM.
11-15-2010, 12:02 AM   #15
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Well, not *that* quick, I must admit. Had it in mind for some time already, since I saw the results you get with that meter. So this was the last push....
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